…The Greek sources from which Herodotus could have drawn are, fortunately, still available: various literary works, such as Homer’s Iliad; the Odes of Pindar of Thebes, written and well known just before Herodotus’ time; and first and foremost, the Theogony ("Divine Genealogy") by Hesiod, a native of Askara in central Greece who composed this work and another (Works and Days) in the eighth century B.C.
…The tale of the gods as revealed to Hesiod was mostly one of passion, revolt, cunning, and mutilation; as well as of struggles and global wars. In spite of all the glorification to Zeus, there is no apparent attempt to cover the chain of bloody violence that had led to his supremacy. What ever the Muses sang on, Hesiod wrote down: "and these things did sing the Muses, nine daughters begotten of Zeus":
Verily, at first Chaos came to be,
and next the wide-bosomed Gaea…
And dim Tartarus, in the depths of wide-pathed Earth,
and Eros, fairest among the deathless gods…
From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Nyx,
And of Nyx were born Acher and Hemera.
…This first group of celestial gods was completed when Gaea ("Earth") brought forth Uranus ("Starry Heaven") and then espoused her firstborn son so that he might be included in the First Dynasty of the gods. Besides Uranus, and soon after he was born, Gaea also gave birth to his graceful sister, Uraea, and to "Pontus, the fruitless Deep with his raging swell."
…Then the next generation of gods were born – offspring of Gaea’s mating with Uranus:
Oceanus, Cocus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus. Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoche, Thetys, Cronos.
…"…In spite of the fact that these twelve were offspring of the mating of a son with his own mother, the children – six males, six females – were worthy of their divine origins. But as Uranus got lustier and lustier the offspring that followed – though formidable in might – displayed various deformities. First of the "monsters" to be born were the three Cyclopes, Brontes ("The Thunderer"), Steropes ("The Maker of Lightning"), and Arges ("Who Makes Radiation"); in all else they were like the gods, but one eye only was set in the midst of their foreheads; and they were named ‘Orbeyed’ (Cyclopes) because one orbed eye was set in their foreheads."
…Three more sons were born to Gaea and Uranus, Cottus, Briareus and Gyes… "Of giant size, the three were called Hekatoncheires ("The Hundred-Armed"): "From their shoulders sprang an hundred arms, not to be approached, and each had fifty heads, upon his shoulders."
…"Cronos hated his lusty sire," Hesiod wrote; but "Uranus rejoiced in his evil doing."
Eventually Gaea and Cronos planned the castration of Uranus and they succeeded.
…But the castration of Uranus did not completely terminate his line of offspring. As his blood gushed forth, some of the blood drops impregnated Gaea, and she conceived and bore "the strong Erinyes" (female Furies of vengeance) "and the great Gigantes with gleaming armor, holding long spears in their hands; and the Nymphs whom they call Meliae [‘the Nymphs of the ash tree’]." Of the castrated genitals, leaving a trail of foam as the surging sea carried them to the island of Cyprus, "there came forth an awful and lovely goddess… gods and men call her Aphrodite [‘She of the Foam’]
…The incapacitated Uranus called out to the monster-gods for vengeance. His own children, he cried out, had become Titans, Strainers who had "strained and did presumptuously the dreadful deed…"
… All along, while Uranus was busy bringing forth his own offspring, the other gods were also proliferating, their children bore names indicating their attributes… Nyx responded to his call by bringing forth the deities of evil… The call of Uranus has been answered: fighting, battles, and war came to be among the gods.
…It was into this dangerous world that the Titans were bringing forth their third generation of the gods. Fearful of retribution (Nemesis), they kept closely to each other, five of the six brothers espousing five of their own six sisters. Of this divine brother-sisters couples, most important was that of Cronos and Rhea, for it was Cronos, by reason of his bold deed, who had assumed the leadership among the gods. Of this union, Rhea gave birth to three daughters and three sons: Hestia, Demeter, and Hera; and Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus.
Mr. Sitchin at this stage delights the reader with several pages of the history and battles of Zeus, from the records of the Theogony, mainly the battle with Typhon, the youngest son of Gaea. Mentioned are also the involvement of all the other gods.
…The similarity between the battles, the weapons used, the locations, as well as the tales of castration, mutilation, and resurrection – all in the course of the struggle for succession – convinced Herodotus (and other Greek classical historians) that the Greeks had borrowed their theogony from the Egyptians. Aegipan stood for the African Ram God of Egypt, and Hermes paralleled the god Thoth. Hesiod himself reported that when Zeus came unto the mortal beauty Alemena so that she might bear him the heroic Heracles, he slipped at night from Mount Olympus and went to the land of Typhaonion, resting there atop the Phikion (The Sphinx Mountain). "The deadly Sphinx that destroyed the Cadmeans" ("The Ancients"), which featured in the doings of Hera, the official spouse of Zeus, was also connected in these legends with Typhon and his domain. And Apollodorus reported that when Typhon was born and grew to an incredible size, the gods rushed to Egypt to take a look at the awesome monster.
…Most scholars have held that Mount Casius, the site of the final battle between Zeus and Typhon, was located near the mouth of the Orontes river in today’s Syria. But as Otto Eissfeldt has shown in a major study (Baal Zaphon, Zeus Kasios und der Durchgang der Israelitten durches Meer), there was another mount called by that name in antiquity – a promontory on the Serbonic Sealet that juts out of the Sinai peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea. He suggested that was the mount referred to in the legends.
…Once again, all one had to do was to trust the information given to Herodotus in Egypt. Describing the land route from Phoenicia to Egypt via Philistia (History, Book III, 5), he wrote that the Asian lands "extend to Lake Serbonis, near the place where Mount Casius juts out into the sea. Egypt begins at Lake Serbonis, where the tale goes that Typhon hid himself."
…Once again, Greek and Egyptian tales converged, with the Sinai peninsula as the climax.
HOMER, some of the sources where Greek "gods" are found.
Sarcophagus sculpture from Homer’s Iliad.
The "Muses," Zeus begotten daughters.
Nymphs, were born to Uranus after his castration, when his blood impregnated Gaea.
Classical Greek Head of Aphrodite. Born in Cyprus, daughter of Uranus.
Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Cyprus.
Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Cyprus.
Roman statue of Aphrodite.
Cronos had become the leader of the "gods" and to him and Rhea were born three daughters and three sons, some of them were:
Ruins of Hera’s temples.
Ruins of Demeter’s temples.
POSEIDON. Cape Sounion, Greece.
Remains of the temple of Poseidon.
ZEUS. Temple of Zeus in Athens.
A sketch of Zeus on his Throne.
Stoa of Hermes and Heracles, in Cyrene. Heracles was a son of Zeus and Alemena.
Roman Head of Hermes.
…Not withstanding the many connecting threads the ancient Greeks had found between their theogony and that of Egypt, it was much further away – in India – that nineteenth-century European scholars have found even more amazing parallels.
…No sooner had Sanskrit, the language of ancient India, been mastered at the end of the eighteenth century than Europe began to be enchanted by translations of hitherto unknown writings. At first a field dominated by the British, the study of Sanskrit literature, philosophy and mythology was by the mid-nineteenth century a favorite of German scholars, poets and intellectuals, for Sanskrit turned out to be a mother language of the Indo-European languages (to which German belonged), and its bearers to India were migrants from the shores of the Caspian Sea – "Aryans," as the Germans believed their ancestors, too, to have been.
…Central to this literature were the Vedas, sacred scriptures believed by Hindu tradition to be "not of human origin," having been composed by the gods themselves in a previous age. They were brought to the Indian subcontinent by the Aryan migrants sometime in the second millennium B.C., as oral traditions. But as time went on, more and more of the original 100,000 verses were lost; so, circa 200 B.C., a sage wrote the remaining verses, dividing them into four parts: the Rig-Veda (the "Veda of Verses"), which is made up of ten books;
- the Sama-Veda (the "Chanted Vedas")
- the Yajur-Veda (mostly sacrificial praises)
- the Atharva-Veda (spells and incantations)
…In time, the various components of the Vedas and the auxiliary literature that stemmed from them (the Mantras, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads) were augmented by the non-Vedic Puranas ("Ancient Writings"). Together with the great epic tales of the Mahabarata and Ramayana, they make up the sources of the Aryan and Hindu tales of Heaven and Earth, gods and heroes.
…Because of the long oral interval, the length and profusion of texts finally written down over many centuries, the many names, generic terms, and epithets employed for the deities interchangeably – and the fact that many of these original names and terms were non-Aryan after all – consistency and precision are not hallmarks of this Sanskrit literature. Yet some facts and events emerge as basic tenets of the Aryan-Hindu legacy.
At this stage Mr. Sitchin gives the nomenclature of the beginning "The Primeval Ones Who Flow," followed by the many gods, down to the prolific Kasyapa, who by his consort Aditi were born to him seven children at first, they were called the Adityas, they were seven at first: Vishnu, Varuna, Mitra, Rudra, Pushan, Tvashtri, and Indra. Then the Aditis were joined by Agni.
…As in the Greek Olympian Circle, the number of the Aditis finally rose to twelve."
Among them were Bhaga… and Surya.
…Tvashtri ("Fashioner"), in his role as "All Accomplishing," the artisan of the gods, provided them with aerial cars and magical weapons. From a blazing celestial metal he fashioned a discus for Vishnu, a trident for Rudra, a "fire weapon" for Agni, a "bolt-hurling Thunderer" for Indra, and a "flying mace" for Surya. In ancient Hindu depictions, all these weapons appeared as hand-held missiles of diverse shapes. In addition, the gods acquired other weapons from Tvashtri’ assistants; Indra, for example, obtained an, "aerial net" with which he could snare his foes during sky battles.
…The celestial chariots or "aerial cars" were invariably described as bright and radiant, made of or plated with gold. Indra’s Vimana (aerial car) had lights shining at its sides and moved "swifter than thought," traversing rapidly vast distances. Its unseen steeds were "Sun-eyed" emitting a reddish hue but also changing colors. In other instances the aerial cars of the gods were described as multitiered; sometimes they could not only fly in the air, but also travel under water.
…The texts also speak of the Ashvins ("Drivers"), gods who specialized in piloting aerial chariots. "Swift as young falcons," they were "the best of charioteers who reach the heavens," always piloting their craft in pairs, accompanied by a navigator. Their vehicles, which sometimes appeared in groups, were golden-made, "bright and radiant… with easy seat and lightly rolling." They were constructed on a triple principle, having three levels, three seats, three supporting poles, and three rotating wheels.
…The rotating wheels, it appears, served diverse functions: one to raise the craft, another to give it direction, the third to speed it along.
…As in the Greek tales, so did the gods of the Vedas display little morality or restraint in sexual matters – sometimes getting away with it, sometimes not, as when the indignant Adityas selected Rudra ("The Three-Eyed") to kill their grandfather Dyaus for having violated their sister Ushas. (Dyaus, wounded, saved his life by fleeing to a distant celestial body.) Also as in the Greek tales, so did the gods according to Hindu lore mingle, in later times, in the love and wars of mortal kings and heroes. In this instance the aerial vehicles of the gods played roles even greater than their weapons. Thus, when one hero drowned, the Ashvins appeared in a fleet of three aerial chariots, "self-activated watertight ships which traverse the air," dived into the ocean, retrieved the hero from the water depths, and "conveyed him over land, beyond the liquid ocean."
…As in the Iliad, so did Hindu traditions tell of war of men and gods over beautiful heroines. Best known of these tales is the Ramayana, the long epic of Rama the prince whose beautiful wife was abducted by the king of Lanka (the island of Ceylon, off India).
…But that was yet in times to come; in the olden days the gods battled among themselves for more important causes: supremacy and rule over the Earth and its resources. With so many offspring of Kasyapa by diverse wives and concubines, as well as the descendants of the other gods, conflict soon became inevitable. The dominance of the Adityas was especially resented by the Asuras, elder gods whose mothers bore them to Kasyapa before the Adityas were born. Bearing a non-Aryan name of a clear Near Eastern origin (being akin to names of the supreme gods of Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt – Ashur, Asur, Osiris), they eventually assumed in the Hindu traditions the role of the evil gods, the "demons."
…Jealousy, rivalry, and other causes of friction finally led to war when the Earth, "which at first produced food without cultivation," succumbed to a global famine. The gods, the texts reveal, sustained their immortality by drinking Soma, an ambrosiac that was brought down to Earth from the Celestial Abode by an eagle and it was drunk mixed with milk. The "kine" ("cow-cattle") also provided the gods’ favored "sacrifices" of roasted meat. But the time came when all these necessities became scarcer and scarcer.
…wars were fought on land, in the air, and beneath the seas.
…One who excelled in these battles was Indra ("Storm"). On land he smote ninety-nine strongholds of the Asuras, killing great numbers of their followers. In the skies he fought from his aerial car the Asuras, who were hiding in their "cloud fortresses." Hymns in the Rig-Veda, list groups of gods as well as individual deities defeated by Indra.
…Defeating the gods’ enemies in groups as well, as in single combat, and making them "flee to destruction," Indra turned his efforts to the freeing of the kine. The "demons" hid them inside a mountain, guarded by Vala ("Encircler"); Indra, aided by the Angirases, young gods who could emit divine flames, smashed into the fortified hideaway and freed the kine. (Some scholars, as J. Herbert in Hindu Mythology, hold that what Indra released or retrieved was a Divine Ray, not cows, for the Sanskrit word go has both meanings.)
…When these wars of the gods began, the Adityas named Agni ("Agile") as Hotri, their "Chief of Office." As the wars progressed – some texts suggest for well over a thousand years – Vishnu ("Active") was made the Chief. But when the fighting was over, Indra, having contributed so much to the victory, claimed the supremacy. As in the Greek Theogony, one of his first acts to establish his claim was to slay his own father. The Rig-Veda (Book iv: 18, 12) asks Indra rhetorically: "Indra, who made my mother a widow…?"
…For this crime Indra was excluded by the gods from the drinking of the Soma, therefore endangering his continued immortality. They "ascended up to Heaven," leaving Indra with the kine he had retrieved. But "he went up after them, with the raised Thunder-weapon," ascending from the northern place of the gods. Fearing his weapon, the gods shouted: "Do not hurl!" and agreed to let Indra share once again in the divine nourishments.
But more battles ensued, as Indra’s supremacy did not remained unchallenged. The reason was as usual: succession. But Indra once more achieved victory, this time over Tvashtri, although it was Vitra who took the battle in place of Tvashtri.
…Indra’s victory was complete; but as Fate would have it, the fruits of victory were not his alone. As he was claiming the throne of Kasyapa, his father, old doubts surfaced concerning his true parenthood. It was a fact that upon his birth his mother had hid him from Kasyapa’s wrath. Why? Was there truth to the rumors that his true father was his own elder brother, Tvashtri?
…The Vedas lift the veil of mystery only partly. They tell, however, that Indra, great god that he was, did not rule alone: he had to share powers with Agni and Surya his brother – just as Zeus had to share dominions with his brothers Hades and Poseidon.
Ancient Sanskrit script on iron Gupta Pillar.
The area of the Caspian Sea, where Germans believed their ancestry stemmed from. Therefore they became serious students of the “Aryans” and the Vedas, as the Aryans were the people who migrated to India.
Stone with inscribed “mantra”; this one from the Nepal area.
Epics: The Mahabarata and the Ramayana
Two depictions from the “Mahabarata”; Above, Goddess of the Earth, Sarasvati. Below, Lord Vishnu, posing as Krishna. From the Temple in Somanthpur, India.
Hanuman, in front of Sita, Rama’s wife, who was re-captured from a “demon god” Scene from the Ramayana.
Rama and Sita in the court of the Palace of King Dansara.
Lion’s Terrace of Sigiriya. A ruined Fortress and Place of King Kasyapa, Sri Lanka.
KASYAPA AND ADITI had seven children, some of whom were:
VARUNA, Sculpture from Orissa.
INDRA. sculpture on a three headed elephant.
Three other sons were added to Kasyapa, one of them was Surya, whose Temple, above, shows “dragon horses mounting elephants, simulating the pulling of the Temple toward east.”
One of the Great Battles between the Devas and the Asuras. This depiction is the goddess Durga, (who is an incarnation of God Vishnu’s anger and Shiva), fighting a “demon.” National Museum of New Delhi.
God Agni, god of Fire. He became the “Chief of Office” of the Adityas.